A lack of infrastructure has kept India exchange traded funds (ETFs) from being all they can be. In 2011, that could change as the country’s leaders get serious about upgrading its roads and rails.

India’s middle class is growing quickly, and with that new income comes the demand for better quality of life. The pressure is on: India has to get its infrastructure up to snuff in order to continue growing the way it has been, explains Benjamin Shephed for Investing Daily.

The cost of not upgrading trains, roads, electrical grid, bridges and the like is not just slower economic growth, but a virtual brain drain. For India to retain its best and brightest, it’s necessary to make upgrades – otherwise, they’ll move onto greener pastures. [India ETFs Waver After Obama Visit.]

The good news: India recognizes the need and it has stepped up infrastructure investment, says Swagata Gupta for Nasdaq. Goldman Sachs forecasts that India will grow 8.5% this year through March and 8.7% in fiscal 2012, led by infrastructure, technology, steel and energy. [Corruption Holds Back India’s ETFs.]

The most direct way to play an Indian infrastructure boom is through EGShares India Infrastructure (NYSEArca: INXX), which has large weightings in electricity, construction and materials and industrial metals and mining.

For broader plays on the economy,  PowerShares India (NYSEArca: PIN), WisdomTree India Earnings (NYSEArca: EPI) and iShares S&P India Nifty 50 Index (NYSEArca: INDY) can deliver the exposure you’re looking for. If you’re bullish on India, check out Direxion Daily India Bull 2x Shares (NYSEArca: INDL), which delivers twice the daily performance of the Indus India index, which is the same index PIN tracks.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.